'Keep up the good job and know that we watch and laugh and cry with you'

Every now and then it happens.

Like the other day, dancing in my living room, smiling at my husband and laughing with my children, and suddenly, a song comes on that I vaguely recognize.
"Hey," I say to Carl, "Benoît read those words to us when he came back from Afghanistan."
Then I tune into Shawn Hlookoff's Soldier lyrics, and I am no longer dancing.
For a moment, I have to stand still and let this song be heard.
Every now and then I'm reminded.


Reminded that today, right in this very moment, soldiers with incredible values are playing their part in a plan that goes beyond their personal means.
They are determined to fight not for glory, but to stand against injustice.
They want to do good.
I want them to know that I am thinking of them.

I want them to know that I am deeply touched by their reality.

And I want to stand by them.

Lisa Downing

Keep up the good work.

You are giving a people an opportunity for change in an area that needs it.
There have been so many wars and internal conflicts in Afghanistan.
What you are doing will lay a foundation for peace and prosperity.
I would be interested in communicating via email with Aboriginal soldiers. My email is: [email protected]
Will Nicholls
Publisher of Nation


Je suis animatrice au 102 9 CFOM. Je suis fille et épouse de militaire. J'ai également un ami qui sert actuellement en Afghanistan. à tous les militaires, hommes et femmes actuellement sur le terrain.

Je souhaite que votre TÉNACITÉ à travailler pouer la paix porte ses fruits.
Que chaque jours nous rapproche de la paix et de l'égalité pour tous.
Bravo pour votre courage et votre sens du sacrifice, car je sais bien que laisser famille et amis derrière soi n'est pas toujours facile.
Revenez tous très bientôt !
Les gens de Québec vous attendent.
Marie France Lambert
Quebec City


Just a word of encouragement for all you brave individuals.
Keep up the good work and take care.
Will be thinking of you all.
Maggy Griffin



I should like to pay tribute to our men and women from Valcartier who are currently deployed in Afghanistan, our soldiers fighting for the common goal of GOOD throughout the world.
I have heard of much "good" that you brave soldiers have accomplished.
I can see the faces of the little children to whom you have given hope with your smiles and all your efforts to make their future bright.
I can see those you are training to replace you when the time comes, who have also learned to have hope for the future.
We know that Afghanistan will be a country full of happy citizens, thanks to YOU, when you are released from duty there.
I send you my personal thanks.
As I told two Valcartier soldiers before they left, I am for peace rather than war.
In these times, however, I'm thankful that you and all forces, whether in Afghanistan or elsewhere, have joined ranks to make our whole world a much better and safer place!
I am so proud to be a Canadian and to feel the relief of knowing that our Canadian soldiers are the BEST!
I wish you a safe and speedy return home.
God bless you all.
Marcia Theriault
Quebec City


To those soldiers overseas whose spouses spend time at the Valcartier Family Centre, we are writing today to express how proud we are of your families, as well as how proud we are of you.
The Family Centre takes deeply to heart its role of supporting the close relatives of our Canadian military members.
Every day, a devoted team of employees and volunteers is honoured to walk alongside the astonishing class of people your loved-ones compose.
Through information and referrals, childcare, early childhood and youth services, volunteer involvement and community activities, employment assistance, prevention and intervention and support during prolonged absences, we are privileged to come into contact with individuals of exceptional inner force.
While single-handedly managing households, your family members continually amaze us with their ability to connect with their core-selves, with their essential values and needs.
They use the challenge of being far from you to tap into inner strengths that we feel privileged to bear witness to.
We are also humbled to be chosen sources of support when needed. Your spouses, children, parents and siblings share a winning combination of character traits: they are strong, and they know when to ask for help. We are grateful to be able to work with them.
Our thoughts are with you always.
Thank you for all that you do.
The Valcartier Family Centre Staff and Volunteers

Like so many other Canadians, our family members remain very proud of our military men and women from Quebec City and Valcartier.
Many good men and women have gone before you.
My father was a musician in the Royal 22nd Regiment at the start of World War II and being too old to go overseas he spent the war working in a munitions factory in Valcartier. My mother served in the Women's Volunteer Reserve Corps. My three siblings did go overseas. My brother, Ken, fought at Hong Kong with the Royal Rifles of Canada and along with many others from Quebec City spent nearly four years as a P.O.W. of the Japanese. My sister, Marjory (Bunny), served as a Nursing Sister on the world's first plastic surgery team in England. My sister, Noreen, served as an officer in the RCAF in radar overseas. And, after graduating from the Royal Military College of Canada, I had the privilege of serving in the First Commonwealth Division in Korea.
You who serve so valiantly in harm's way are always in our minds.
Thank you for your service!
Austen E. Cambon
Quebec High School, Class of 1950



As one who served with the Canadian Army during Canada's north-west Europe NATO obligations in the early 1960s, I would like to commend our troops who are currently serving in Afghanistan.
Their bravery, fortitude, and unrelenting dedication are hallmarks of our Canadian heritage.
I know that Canadians across Canada, as do all free people around the world, value their service.
We are indeed, truly grateful for their personal sacrifice and in the manner in which each man and woman represents this great country.
Growing up as a youth in Quebec City, and having served as a young soldier at Camp Valcartier, I am especially proud of that segment of our military who call Base Valcartier home.
There is a long-standing pride and respect with which Quebecers regard the men and women who serve in our military from that historic military base.
Those sentiments continue, and can only be heightened - as our troops continue to play a key role in securing world peace.
With much respect and gratitude:
Tony Soulis
Past President
Canadian Aviation Historical Society
Kanata, Ont.



Let us not falter in our duty towards our values of love, honour, service and civility. Let's not let the IEDs, the gunrunners, the corrupt politicians, drug lords, etc.. get in the way of the Beaver's progress.
The Beaver looks not for a fight, but builds his house, along with his family, with hard work and diligence, and only a very powerful explosion can destroy the house of the beaver once it has been constructed. There are no French, English, or Aboriginal Beavers, only Castor Canadensis: Canadian Beavers. That's why it is the emblem of our land: The true north strong and free.
Le castor ne cherche pas la bagarre, mais construis sa maison, avec l'aide de sa famille, avec du travaille acharné et de la diligence, et seulement une immense explosion peut détruire la maison du castor, une fois qu'elle est construite. Il n'y a pas de Castor Anglophone, Francophone, ou Autochtone, seulement des Castor Canadiensis, le castor canadien. C'est pourquoi qu'il est l'emblème de notre pays : Un pays nordique, fort, et libre.
My thoughts are with you as you go forward in your mission.
The people of Canada are with you, in thought, in prayer, will, and material support.
Mes pensés sont avec vous, pendant que vous avancez dans votre mission.
Le peuple canadien est aussi avec vous, dans leur pensé, prière, avec leur volonté, et soutien matériel.
Peter Stuart

Quebec City



I am in awe of the job you young people are doing over there.

Sometimes I get e-mails from guys I served with showing the camaraderie and sense of humor haven't changed all that much with your generation. One was of two fellows jousting on tricycles with lances, another showed a fellow strung under the weapons pod of a fighter with an M16 in hand.

I wouldn't have the slightest idea of how to lighten your load, if I could; other than to say that the family you left will be almost as valuable to you in the end, as the "Family" you are with now. They will last as long as your memory.

Keep up the good job and know that we watch and laugh and cry with you.

Thanks for taking up my watch.
Tommy Spencer

NATO veteran



To all of you serving to keep our country free and fighting for democracy around the world, thank you.
My father served in the Royal Canadian Engineers out of Valcartier Camp for many years, right up to his retirement, after which he continued as a civilian on the base. That was my hometown! My husband served two tours in Vietnam.

We understand the sacrifice you are making.
Stay safe and come home soon.
Sandra Suess Cooper
Tremont, N.S.



To those who are fighting the war against terror where ever you are I salute you.

You are in my thoughts and prayers daily.
I support your efforts and pray that you will come home safe and sound.
Ronald C. Parker

Please add my name to your list for our brave soldiers in Afghanistan.
We are very proud of you.
Robert Lesouder
NATO veteran


As a member of the Riverview Veterans' & Armed Forces Association, I send greetings to all Canadians stationed in theatre Afghanistan.

May your tour be safe and as enjoyable as it can be when one is separated from loved ones.

Know that you are always in our thoughts and prayers.

Doug Horsman CD (Rtd) Logistics

Riverview, N.B.



Give 'em hell guys and gals.
Larry Mosser ex-RCAF
Per Ardua ad Astra (Through Adversity to the Stars)



Greetings from Torbay, Newfoundland.

All Newfoundlander's are very proud of our soldiers.
You are willing do a very dangerous job, to help people who have very little.

You help little girls go to school. You help children to have a safe home. And you fight against the evil that is the Taliban. I am a NATO veteran, and a military wife. In the navy we say,
"BRAVO ZULU" for a job well done!!!! God is with you.
Padre Jack, Christina, Alexander and Aaron Barrett.
CFS St. John's



A tous les nôtres là-bas bon courage prenez soin de vous et revenez nous sain et sauf.

To all of you out there lost of luck and take care and come back home safe .

Yvon Dubé

NATO veteran



To all our Canadian soldiers fighting to preserve our Canadian ideals, we wish that may God bless you all and preserve your faith in humanity.
I, as an old Royal Canadian Regimental veteran, salute you for protecting us from terror and the Bloody Taliban.
Major (Ret'd) Nick Puddicombe

Brockville, Ont.



Just saying thanks for a job being well done.

As always our troops are there doing for others.

Please accept my thanks,God bless,and come home safe.

From a NATO VET who served in Germany with the Black Watch RHR OF CANADA.

Thanks again.
Rick Smith



NATO comrades in Afghanistan: I was first involved with the personnel of the Royal 22nd at Valcartier in the 1950s while I was stationed at St. Sylvestre. The second time was in Ismailia, Egypt, in 1975-76. I found them to be a very hard-working and dedicated group, always amicable and getting the job at hand done immediately without hesitation. I am sure that tradition carries on to this day. Wishing you the very best in all your endeavours, with prayers and blessings.


W. O. Conrad W. McNeill, C.D. (Retd)
NATO veteran
Waterborough, N.B.


God Bless and Godspeed home.
Richard Austin CD
NATO Veteran


It is with honor that we send you greetings from Sardis, B.C.
Having spent 36 years in the RCASC myself, being posted all over the world and away from family and friends for as long as one year (UNEF duties).
I take my hat off to you men (and women) for what you are doing and going through.
Keep up the good work and our prayers are with you every night that you may come home in one piece to your loved ones, back in Canada, still the best country in this world.
(Sgt. Ret'd)Bob & Eleanor Donker


We send this message to have our names included in support of our troops.
Karl & Vivian Bartlett
Rockland, Ont.


The best of our prayers and good wishes for a safe return from your mission.
J. Gaylord Kingston
Atlantic Chief and Petty Officers Association
Halifax, N.S.


We never know where our services and our lives will be needed in this troubled world.
Right now, all of you are needed for the freedom of the Afghans, and for this I give you my total support and respect.
It is not easy to be in the military a lot of the time, but the rewards are great when you know you are making a difference to people under suppression and in dire need.
You have put your lives on the line in the name of Canada!
I am a NATO Vet (female) of the 50's and 60's where we only had a "Cold War" to worry about.
Remember that we are all very proud of you
Marion White
Former RCAF and CAF


I wish to thank all the young men and women of the Armed Forces presently serving their country as part of the NATO forces.
Your contribution to the humanitarian efforts for the Afghan people is outstanding.
We at home are proud of you all.
CWO (Ret'd) Ron Motteram
Member of NATO veterans association


Behind the primal, astounding beauty of the Afghan mountains lies the unknown.
For the troops stationed a few kilometers away, the unknown coupled with the deserted, long stretch of dirt road linking hostile villages to one another codify the notion of dangerous.
As mortars are being launched, gunshots fired upon your squad and IEDs randomly explode, your hearts and heads thump with both fear and a sobering sense of duty.


Bodies are left shattered and a few lives are lost.

In the blink of an eye, something goes amiss as someone shoots the bullets that end life as you knew it, and for a second, you wonder who you are.
You are paragons of courage under fire.

You are examples of societal daring.

You are the few female soldiers allowed on the battlefield.

Despite the monthly hormonal upheaval of your bodies, your innate propensity for excessive compassion, you remain soldiers.

You snub the alleged weakness of your gender to become warriors, comparable to the lauded ancient societies' Amazons.

Be aware of your value and may your bravery be not only acknowledged, but praised by your male counterparts.
The four who are no more will not be forgotten; their memory will be kept alive by those of you who are still fighting.
When you return home to fathers, mothers, siblings or children, changed beyond your own reckoning, the echoes of past blasts and gunshots and wounded soldiers' laments still resonating in your heads, remember this: you were like roses in an indiscriminately cruel world at war.

You were delicate but strong and unyielding.
When you wake up to the grim reality that the love of your kin and friends may not be enough for a complete catharsis, remember that one of your greatest accomplishments as soldiers was not to have fired a weapon or supported your comrades in battle.

Your greatest achievement is to have channeled forgotten humanity where it lacked the most: in a battlefield.
You were indeed like roses in an indiscriminately cruel world.
M.H.A. Menondji